Montgomery County officials last week honored late Charleston Town Supervisor Shayne T. Walters, presenting his family a plaque in his memory.
Board of Supervisors Chairman John Thayer, who took over the position after Walter's death, spoke with a reverential tone as Walter's wife, two adopted children and mother stood nearby, heads bowed.
Thayer described Walters as a man of conviction who often would debate and work hard to do his best for those in the county. Of note was Walters' work after Tropical Storm Irene in the late summer of 2011, which devastated part of Walters' town. Working feverishly, he did his best to secure flood-relief aid and support from federal and state agencies.
Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Thayer reads a proclamation in honor of the late Shayne T. Walters, who died in October, to Walters’ wife, Laurie, mother, Jean, and adopted children John and Frankie Foti.
The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland
"There is just too much to say on Shayne and the words just don't fit up nicely," Thayer said, smiling slightly.
Walters, then the county board chairman, died in October after a nine-month fight with colon cancer. Despite a positive prognosis from the doctors, complications claimed his life.
His mother, Jean Walters, who is the Charleston town justice, said he was surrounded by friends and family when he died at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.
Johnny Foti, Walter's adopted son, remembered the empathy his father had for both people and animals, recalling when Walters helped a horse after it had fallen down into a ditch, staying with it as it was brought back up.
"He would do anything for anybody or anything," Foti said.
Laurie Walters, Shayne's wife, was silent throughout the event.
"I just don't know what to say," she said after the meeting.
Arthur Cleveland covers Montgomery County and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.